HSD begins by setting up common HR and financial systems

The Homeland Security Department likely will apply its first efforts to consolidating systems that support human resources and finances for its 22 component agencies, a senior department official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said combining the HSD agencies would be done, in some ways, like a corporate merger, and in the private sector, HR and financial operations often are the first systems to be consolidated.

The department's IT chiefs likely will decide by next month on the procedure, the official said. Once senior brass settle on a plan, the department will begin to cut off funds to some vendors and focus on others, he said.

"This sometimes has direct political implications," the official said, referring to the fact that influential senators might try to intervene and protect the contracts of constituent companies.

The official suggested that companies that want to sell services or products to the department should work through existing contracts with component agencies because the department does not have time to launch massive new systems integration contracts.

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